Katwikirize, Stuart (2019) Community Capacity Building for Disaster Risk Reduction: Exposing and Challenging Level of Prioritisation in Kenya. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Global disaster reports continue to present a disturbing steady growth in the frequency and magnitude of disasters. The same reports also tell of escalating disaster effects and impacts on the myriad of at-risk communities. Despite the avalanche of these concerning reports, both literature and practitioner field views bemoan the current disconnect between upper (global and national) level disaster risk reduction (DRR) rhetoric and abysmal support to local level DRR action.

This study recognizes therefore that while there is a growing worldwide interest in DRR, poor local capacity for DRR remains probably the biggest impediment to speeding up required global DRR progress. The study also recognizes that community capacity building for disaster risk reduction (CCB4DRR) is a pivotal enabler to local DRR with knock-on effects to global DRR progression. In order to accelerate global DRRprogress therefore, it is imperative to challenge the current state of key stakeholder prioritization and support for community capacity building for disaster risk reduction (CCB4DRR).

The study adopts case study research strategy and uses interviews, document reviews and observations to investigate the state of CCB4DRR within 6 INGO and donor case studies in Kenya. In addition, the study identifies factors behind one of Kenya’s most successful CCB4DRR initiative---Yatta’s Operation Mwolyo Out (OMO). The analysis of case study data reveals that while there’s an overall general understanding of the importance of supporting local DRR action, support to CCB4DRR is at varying degrees within the 6 INGO and donor case studies. The analysis of factors behind OMO’s great success reveals how it is one thing for DRR stakeholders to understand the importance of prioritising and supporting CCB4DRR and yet another for the same stakeholders to grasp how to practically get it right. This is the reason one case donor reflected, “I think we are still very limited in the understanding of DRR and how to translate it into the practical things.”

The study adds nuance to our understanding of the present state of CCB4DRR in Kenya. It also underscores the importance of donors being intentional at providing informed guidelines on how funds allocated to government Disaster Risk Management (DRM) agencies should be prioritized between different DRM activities. The study recommends that donor guidance to respective partners should emphasize the need for targeting larger amounts of allocated funds to resilience-building DRR activities versus the on-going practice of allocating more to emergency preparedness and response. Probably the most important output of the study is the proposed conceptual framework aimed at helping DRR stakeholders in the country understand which critical pieces of information are required for them to be able to make informed in-country DRR choices.

FINAL THESIS - Katwikirize.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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